Many of us remember a dream from our childhood. It could be a nightmare (being chased by monsters), something happy (playing with fairies in a magic garden) or a day dream (having lots of money and doing whatever you wanted). I am often asked if these childhood dreams are useful for when “I am all grown up”.
The answer is “yes”; if you have a particular dream that you remember today, then that dream still has a message for you (this holds true for dreams from anywhere in the past – last month, last year or 50 years ago – it doesn’t matter).
So let’s look at a childhood dream from a client; as a child, “Mary” often dreamt that she was eating a huge ice cream but it was melting so fast, she couldn’t really get much. She remembers waking up from that dream feeling upset that she didn’t get to eat the ice cream!
! I asked her what was the most vivid thing that she could remember from the dream and she answered “Trying to lick the ice cream really fast so that I could get it before it all melted, but the faster I tried to lick, the faster it melted. I was getting really frustrated and upset and couldn’t work out what to do differently. Nothing I did worked”. As she talked about the dream, I asked Mary to notice her feelings and reactions to remembering the dream. As she talked her body language changed (her shoulders drooped and her head was looking down).
Mary then looked up and said “you know, I am sick of chasing my tail and not getting things done. The more I try and do something, the more it seems to slip away. I end up frustrated that I didn’t get done what I had planned to do.” We talked more about “chasing her tail” and compared that to “trying to lick the ice cream faster”. She laughed and said; “you know you’re right. There’s no point in doing the same thing over and over, hoping that the next time it might work. At the moment I am trying to use ads to attract more clients, and I keep putting more money into it, hoping that this time it would work. I realise now that it’s just like the ice cream melting away. I need to do something different and test it out to see what works and what doesn’t”.